Callaway, White Earth Reservation Breaking into the Hemp Industry

Hemp Field Day was held at White Earth Reservation to celebrate the second growing season

CALLAWAY, Minn. — The people of Callaway, Minnesota and on the White Earth Reservation are hoping to help their community’s economy grow.

But can their products find a place in the market?

For starters, it’s important to point out hemp is not just marijuana.

It’s a plant that is bred specifically to create products like clothing and construction materials.

There are at least 25,000 products that can be made from this plant and although it may be a slow process, the hemp industry in Callaway Minnesota is up and coming.

“Having our first crop being so successful this year is really exciting what we can use this for,” said Tara Mason, who is the secretary treasurer of the White Earth Reservation.

Speakers and growers from across the state gathered for the city’s Hemp Field Day.

They want the surrounding communities to know just how much work and effort is put into growing this product.

“This is the most important: Getting people together, sharing our experiences, sharing our successes, sharing our failures and our challenges we’re all working towards,” said Food Sovereignty Coordinator, Zachary Paige.

Their second year of growing hemp is still a learning experience, but they’re looking forward to the variety of products they’ll be able to make in the future.

“Looking at the seeds in the oil production to look for medicinal purposes and also just added value to different products,” Mason said.

“Soaps, or beauty care products, or food,” Paige added. “Hemp seed as a whole protein, meaning it has all the amino acids.”

It’s a joint effort between agencies across the state to make sure this is all possible.

“A sample is collected from that harvest and then that sample is tested by our lab,” said President & CEO of the MCIA, Fawad Shah.

All to make sure the hemp industry in Minnesota stays on the road to success.

“We have the ability to license growers. We have the ability to help finish products. We have the ability to help build an economy around this product,” Mason said.

Guest speakers at the field day included staff from the White Earth Tribal Council and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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